Here’s a surprise, via Bloomberg:
“BlackBerry’s QNX operating system, used to power its BlackBerry 10 phones, has become the technology of choice for mapping, communication and entertainment systems in cars from Ford Motor Co. to luxury German brands Porsche and BMW.”
BlackBerry acquired QNX in 2010 from Harman International, a long-time supplier to the auto industry. “Long-time supplier” is the crucial bit. As for why QNX has done well, Bloomberg explains:
“‘QNX is the standard right now,’ said Matthew Stover, an analyst at Guggenheim Partners in Boston. ‘It’s proven and people know what it is.’
A key to maintaining the lead is QNX’s track record in running safety systems, crucial in situations where a software freeze could mean a car accident.”
By the logic of Silicon Valley, that’s a disruption waiting to happen, as Google and a consortium of automakers have foreseen. But this also underscores the ways in which the market for software in heavy industry, and in physical machines in general, is different from the market for software that stays strictly virtual.
[H/T Jim Stogdill]